Family forced to deal with human excrement on their propertyPosted: Updated:
YAKIMA, Wash- Many people in the Valley are plagued with homes vandalized by graffiti or broken windows, but one Yakima family has an issue that well, really stinks.
Troy and Julie's kids aren't allowed to play outside of their property anymore, but not because of gangs or violent crime. On a daily basis they find human excrement all over the back of their home.
"We can expect to walk out the door and either step in feces because it's right there, have it drip on us", says Julie Vannortrick.
A group of homeless people have set up on the grassy area near Julie and her fiancée Troy's home, next door to where a halfway house used to be on the 100 block of South 6th street in Yakima.
"We've tried chasing them off, we've taken their stuff and thrown it away", laments Julie.
The couple says the transients now use the vacant lot as a trash can, and their home as a toilet.
"I gotta go in there somehow, hand sanitizer, you gotta wear rubber gloves just to get in your house", explains Troy Vella.
It's not just finding the evidence that bothers the parents of three, they and their children often catch someone in the act. So it's more than an issue of health and sanitation, it's public indecency.
"She's [their daughter] four years old, people are urinating in front of her, she's seeing body parts", Julie worries.
For about a year they've tried to get help from everyone they can think of but code enforcement says it's not their problem and police haven't been helpful.
"I called the police department, told them this gentleman just urinated right in front of my daughter, she's four years old, I want to file a complaint, I want to press charges, they lost the case", says Julie.
Police didn't exactly lose the case, but it does seem that it was mis-classified. YPD says they have a report of malicious mischief from that address but it doesn't mention indecent exposure. They say they have to prioritize calls and homeless people defecating just isn't that high up on the list. They have however said that an indecent exposure report would be investigated.
Code enforcement says they don't have any control over the homeless people's behavior, but they are telling the owners of the vacant lot to get it cleaned up. The Health District says there's nothing they can do. In fact, the only people they could cite would be the homeowners themselves.